10 Ways The Show Hasn’t Aged Well

While Gilmore Girls is a beloved show from the 2000s, there’s no denying a lot of things in the series have aged poorly. Like most of the shows from this time, Gilmore Girls includes problematic jokes, lacks adequate representation, and idealizes toxic relationships.



This doesn’t mean that Gilmore Girls isn’t a great show. However, the audience is now aware of certain troublesome characters and moments in the show that are not up to today’s standards. Unfortunately, this also includes the revival, A Year in the Life, even though it’s only from 2016.

Updated by Alexandra Locke on December 30, 2023: Gilmore Girls is a beloved dramedy from the early 2000s surrounding the lives of the mother/daughter pair of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Even though it first aired almost twenty-five years ago, Gilmore Girls has maintained a staunchly loyal fanbase. Despite its immense popularity, there are some things about the show that haven’t aged well as the years passed by. Gilmore Girls has many good qualities, but some aspects tarnish its memory. Since more audiences are realizing the problematic parts of the show, this article has been updated to include more poorly-aged storylines from the show.

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15 The Lack of LGBTQ+ Representation Is Disappointing

Gilmore Girls' Luke, Lorelai, Rory and Dean smiling at the camera

Like most TV shows from the 2000s, Gilmore Girls failed to choose a diverse cast. Despite featuring dozens of recurrent characters, none of them are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. In Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, Michel is married to a man, but the original series rarely discusses his sexuality or love life.

This lack of representation is particularly terrible in a show that’s known for its characters always talking about their love lives. Sookie, Rory, and Lorelai never stop discussing their different romantic problems, but Michel’s sexuality is left aside as an uncomfortable topic, which new audiences find unacceptable.

14 Michel Gerard Is A Black Comic Relief Character

Michel smiling in the Independence Inn Gilmore Girls

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Gilmore Girls features a predominantly white cast. The only Black character in the show is Michel, and he’s treated mostly as comic relief. Michel works the desk in the Independence Inn and, later on, the Dragonfly Inn, but he’s mostly known for his broody yet well-intentioned nature. However, the show doesn’t take the time to explore more of this character’s inner life.

2023 audiences have rightfully gotten used to seeing more and more Black and POC characters on television. The fact that Gilmore Girls only features one Black character and doesn’t even create a suitable storyline for him disappoints viewers nowadays.

13 Cultural Stereotypes Are Prominent In Gilmore Girls

Lane listens anxiously as Mrs. Kim speaks to someone.

Gilmore Girls isn’t known for having the most diversity. However, when non-white characters are on the show, they tend to be played stereotypically. The character of Paris’s nanny, Soledad, is a glaring example of this, as she is a Portuguese woman in the service industry, who speaks no English. However, there is an even harsher example of cultural stereotypes in the show.

Mrs. Kim, for all her hard work, is a blatant, stereotypical Asian mother. She haggles, she is extremely strict, and she wants her daughter to either be a doctor or to marry one. Lane’s identity as a Korean American is very important to her character, but her mother’s behavior is often over the top and harshly stereotyped.

12 Rory’s Entitlement Gets Worse As The Show Progresses

Dean accompanies Rory to the cotillion ball in Gilmore Girls

Rory was raised by a single mother who rarely accepted outside help. Lorelai Gilmore fought and scraped for every penny she earned and rose to create a comfortable life for herself and Rory. Despite this, Rory eventually comes to blend more smoothly into the gilded Gilmore life of her grandparents and relies on money and status to save her much more often than she should.

Once Rory graduates from Chilton and goes to Yale, the Ivy League prestige seems to go to her head. She uses money as bribes to get what she wants, she writes a scathing review of an upper-class party when she vacations in The Hamptons with her boyfriend, Logan, and she even uses her family name more than once to prove that she should be treated better. When she leaves Yale, the hardest thing she does is have to live with (and follow) Richard and Emily’s rules, yet Rory treats the experience like she’s being imprisoned. Even in the revival, Rory expects to be offered any job without proving to her potential employers that she has anything to offer them.

11 Lane & Zack’s Relationship Is Toxic

Pregnant Lane talks to Zack about their babies to come.

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Lane Kim and Zack VanGerbig’s relationship wasn’t meant to be. Lane was supposed to end up with Dave Rygalski, but Dave actor Adam Brody was cast on The O.C. and had to leave. Therefore, the Lane and Zack pairing was always going to feel like a consolation prize. Sadly though, their relationship was more tumultuous than what seemed to be initially intended.

The most glaring problems in their relationship are respect and communication. Zack makes a lot of deprecating comments to and about Lane (and women in general) throughout the series. Likewise, neither Lane nor Zack seem to know how to tell each other hard truths without exploding on one another or simply not telling the other person until they find out from someone else. Their multiple wedding ceremonies and reception may be an iconic part of Gilmore Girls, but their relationship leaves a lot to be desired.

10 Rory And Dean’s Affair Is One Of Rory’s Many Poor Choices

One of the biggest plot twists in Gilmore Girls is Rory and Dean sleeping together despite Dean being married. The two characters had dated back in the first season before Rory developed feelings for Luke’s nephew, Jess. However, it is always clear that Dean has never gotten over Rory.

When Rory is feeling lonely and needy, she develops an unhealthy affair with her married ex-boyfriend. This is one of Rory’s more despicable moments. Rory’s terrible actions have become one of the biggest jokes on the internet, as new audiences have a hard time relating to this character.

9 Rory Dressing Up As Donna Reed Undermines Her Point

Collage of Rory dressing like Donna Reed in Gilmore Girls

In Season 1, Episode 14 of Gilmore Girls, “That Damn Donna Reed,” Rory and Dean fight about gender roles that ends with Rory dressing up as Donna Reed. When Rory and Lorelai make fun of Donna while watching The Donna Reed Show, Dean comments that he doesn’t understand what’s wrong with being a housewife, which triggers a huge fight between Rory and Dean about their future expectations.

This episode is problematic in 2023 for many reasons. Rory and Lorelai making fun of a traditional homemaker is now considered anti-feminist, as there’s nothing wrong with women choosing to focus on home tasks. However, Rory ends the fight by dressing up as Donna Reed only to appease Dean, which is also troublesome since Rory shouldn’t have to play into Dean’s point of view if she doesn’t agree.

8 Rory’s Pattern Of Cheating Begins With Jess

Gilmore Girls Rory and Jess First Kiss in a grassy, tree-lined area.

Although Rory’s most egregious instance of cheating is when she sleeps with Dean after he’s married to Lindsey, Rory continues a pattern of adultery throughout the rest of the show and into the revival. Even when Rory is with Dean originally, she hides a kiss she shared with Tristan DuGray and kisses Jess just before Sookie and Jackson’s wedding.

After the show’s original ending, fans hoped that Rory would have learned her lesson. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case, since she is still pursuing a relationship with Logan in the revival, even though he is engaged to someone else, and she is dating a man named Paul. Rory also has a fleeting meet-up with a man she met while looking for a story about lines. It’s clear that Rory never seemed to learn her lesson, and many fans are turned off by her immoral actions.

Rory and Lorelai at Harvard in Gilmore Girls.

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Throughout the 2000s, fatphobic comments were considered peak comedy, and Gilmore Girls was no exception. Many main characters, such as Rory, Lorelai, and Emily, make fatphobic comments for the sake of humor. For example, at one point, Rory calls a ballerina a whale for not being skinny enough. Viewers now understand that this is not only humorless but also hurtful.

What’s more, Gilmore Girls idealizes women who don’t gain weight even if they eat large amounts of fast food and candy, such as Rory and Lorelai. The combination of mocking overweight people and glamorizing unhealthy food habits makes it a terrible show in this sense. The revival is no better, as Lorelai and Rory are shown making deprecating comments to their friends and neighbors as they hang out by the pool.

6 Luke’s Rant About Breastfeeding Is Uncomfortably Wrong

Luke annoyed in Gilmore Girls

Season 3, Episode 5 of Gilmore Girls, “Eight O’Clock at the Oasis,” opens with Luke and Lorelai hanging out at Luke’s diner when a client starts breastfeeding her baby. Luke comments about how odd he finds that a woman would breastfeed in public, going as far as saying that “it’s indecent. This is a diner, not a peep show.”

This is one of Luke’s lowest moments in the show. Since Gilmore Girls first aired, people’s mentality has changed for the better, especially when it comes to women’s bodies. There’s nothing wrong with a mother breastfeeding her baby in public, and Luke should know better than this.

5 Lorelai Objectifying Luke Is A Regular Occurrence

Luke and Lorelai laughing while sitting on Lorelai’s snowy porch in Gilmore Girls

In Gilmore Girls Season 3, Episode 19, “Keg! Max!” Sookie accidentally touches Luke’s butt, which triggers a series of jokes about this character’s backside from Lorelai and Sookie. The actor who plays Luke, Scott Patterson, opened up in his podcast, I Am All In with Scott Patterson, about how uncomfortable this scene made him feel.

Patterson commented that he felt objectified and embarrassed throughout the filming of this scene, and it makes plenty of sense. No one, regardless of gender, should be in the uncomfortable position of tolerating jokes about a part of their body, which is why this moment in Gilmore Girls has aged so poorly.

4 Logan & Rory’s Relationship Doesn’t Work For Either Of Them

Logan and Rory jump off scaffolding while holding umbrellas in Gilmore Girls

While back in 2005, Rory and Logan were considered one of the best TV couples, it’s easy to see now how this relationship aged poorly. From the very beginning, Logan is clearly a red flag. He doesn’t take his studies seriously and is very condescending to people who don’t share his privilege (including Rory’s friend, Marty). What’s more, Logan is a part of the Life and Death Brigade, a secret Yale society known for their dangerous and sometimes illegal activities.

In A Year in the Life, this relationship continues to be as toxic as ever when Rory and Logan develop an affair despite both of them being in romantic relationships. It’s safe to say this couple is an emotional roller-coaster from beginning to end.

3 Christopher Was And Is A Terrible Father

Chris Hayden in Gilmore Girls looking skeptically

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Christopher is considered one of the worst fathers on television. He was mostly an absent figure in Rory’s childhood and would only appear from time to time unannounced. What’s more, Chris eventually gets another family and disappears even more from Rory’s life.

The problem with Chris is that the series still portrays him in a positive light. He’s a charming and funny person, and he’s even one of Lorelai’s main love interests. Newer audiences are especially unforgiving of Chris, as they see him for what he is: an immature and irresponsible father.

Emily Gilmore with a judgmental face

Lorelai’s wealthy mother is known for her petulant, opinionated, and elitist personality. She’s often rude to the people who work for her, and a constant joke in the show is that Emily constantly fires them. Additionally, she disapproves when Rory dates Dean, a boy from Star Hollow, but she’s happy when Rory starts dating Logan, a rich boy from Yale.

Emily’s view of the world was terrible in the 2000s, and it’s even worse now. Her classist comments about the people in Star Hollow aren’t funny, but the show still tries to redeem Emily Gilmore, and that hasn’t aged well.

1 Rory’s Dependency On Lorelei Is Debilitating

Gilmore Girls hinges on the relationship between Lorelai and Rory. The pair are not even two decades apart in age, and they have lived on their own for half of Lorelei’s life and all of Rory’s. Naturally, the pair would form a close bond. Unfortunately, the way that Rory is so dependent on her mother appears unhealthy.

The most stark example of Rory’s attachment is on her first day at Yale when she begs Lorelai to come back to New Haven to stay the night with her. Lorelai not only obliges but throws Rory and her roommates a huge party. Though the party is cool and everyone enjoys themselves, the fact that Rory couldn’t even stay one night alone without Lorelai is a bit much — especially since Yale is only about seventy minutes from Stars Hollow. Additionally, Lorelei’s insistence on knowing every minute personal detail of Rory’s life (including her first kiss) seems too intrusive to Rory’s life.

Gilmore Girls TV Show Poster

Gilmore Girls

A dramedy centering around the relationship between a thirtysomething single mother and her teen daughter living in Stars Hollow, Connecticut.

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